2020 utah legislature

Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President Stuart Adams issued a citation Thursday conveying their gratitude—on behalf of the legislature—for President Donald Trump’s policies and actions during his first term in office.

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson sponsored a citation that expresses “appreciation and gratitude” for President Donald Trump on behalf of the Utah Legislature. The message is in response to U.S. Senator Mitt Romney’s vote to charge Trump with abuse of power during the recently concluded Senate impeachment trial.

 

Utah State Office of Tourism/Paul Morrison Photography

The 2020 general session of the Utah Legislature ends in a few weeks. Park City Chamber/Bureau CEO Bill Malone’s number one priority is the tourism marketing performance fund, which is managed by the Utah Office of Tourism. It’s funded by sales tax revenue from tourism industries and is used for marketing, programming and the Utah Sports Commission. The legislature has appropriated $25 million for the fund this year, but Malone says there’s been a push to use a portion of that specifically for rural tourism development.

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House Bill 58 is one of many bills trying to reduce the use of e-cigarettes and vaping among Utah youth.

 

The Utah Senate passed a bill that would allow the Division of Motor Vehicles to prohibit license plates that disparage certain groups of people. 

A bill that would require bystanders to emergencies to call 911 failed in the Utah House of Representatives Wednesday. 

This is the third year House Minority Leader Brian King has sponsored House Bill 104, Responsibilities in an Emergency. The bill would make it a class B misdemeanor if individuals failed to call 911 in an emergency.

Utah State Capitol
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In anticipation of the March 1 rollout of the state’s medical cannabis program, Sen. Evan Vickers is sponsoring last-minute changes to the law. Senate Bill 121 would make several amendments to the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, which the legislature approved in December 2018, shortly after Utah voters approved a medical cannabis program through the Proposition 2 ballot initiative.

 

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A legislative committee showed support for a bill that would extend family planning resources to 10,000 low-income Utahns. 

A white woman in a black and white dress kneels on the floor, surrounded by many children
KPCW News

On Feb. 14, 1870, a young Utah woman made history.

Two days after the Utah territorial legislature granted Utah women the right to vote, Seraph Young unexpectedly became the first woman in the nation to cast a ballot.

“I was only the first because I had to go to work—I'm a school teacher, and so I wanted to make sure that I was on time for my students," an actor portraying Young said. "But I also wanted to fulfill my lifelong dream of voting, so it was an amazing experience, and I'm so lucky to have been the first.”

Texting while driving is already illegal in Utah. House Bill 101 would make it illegal to even hold a phone while behind the wheel. Rep. Carol Spackman Moss has sponsored the bill many times—last year, it failed to receive enough support in the full House. The Democrat from Holladay says a majority of Utahns support a ban on handheld cell phones, regardless of their political affiliation. Moss says the bill is about public safety.

A black and white photo of a group of women in dark dresses
Utah State Historical Society

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting many women throughout the country the right to vote. Utahns are celebrating an even bigger milestone.

Under the 19th Amendment, white women across the United States gained the right to vote in 1920. But Katherine Kitterman, an historian with the nonprofit Better Days 2020, says Utah women cast their first ballots 50 years before, in 1870.

In her final year in the Utah legislature, District 36 Rep. Patrice Arent is making one last push to remove a small, but sometimes confusing, box at the top of voters’ ballots.

Utah DWR

House Republican Carl Albrecht from Richfield is sponsoring a predator bill this legislative session. It would require Division of Wildlife Resources to cull through hunting permits, certain predators if large game numbers are lower than the DWR established herd sizes.

After a major snowstorm delayed morning commutes and travel along the Wasatch Front, Utah lawmakers debated legislation that supports school districts to start high school classes a bit later. 

The House Health and Human Services Committee approved House Concurrent Resolution 3 Monday, which encourages school districts and charter schools to consider the benefits and consequences of implementing a later start time for high school students. Resolutions express positions of the Legislature; they do not create laws.

Utah State Capitol
KPCW Radio

District 54 Rep. Tim Quinn is sponsoring House Bill 217, which amends state election code to allow for the recall of a sitting United States senator. Quinn swears it has nothing to do with one of Utah’s current U.S. senators, Mitt Romney, who has made news recently as one of two Republican senators to vote for impeachment witnesses.

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